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How many accounts can I fit on this server?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by mm1250, Feb 23, 2008.

  1. mm1250

    mm1250 Well-Known Member

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    Hello,

    I am getting ready to buy a new server to replace my current Woodcrest 5130 with 2GB RAM and SATA II.

    I run a shared hosting business and I am in the mypits of growing the business very quickly. Once we were average 3 sign up per month are now seeing peeks of 5 signups PER DAY. So I need to start getting serious here.

    My hosting is pretty standard, we are your typical host who markets to budget & overselling hosting market. Our direct competitor would be BlueHost I would say. You know Unlimited addon domain, emails, high disk and bandwidth offerings, etc.

    So, Anyways,

    I plan on getting about 2-3 new boxes to co-locate. We currently have dedicated servers now.

    The new boxes will be

    SuperMicro 1U Server
    2 Processors - Intel Xeon Quad Core 5420 (2.5Ghz per core. Total 8 cores = 20Ghz!)
    8GB ECC FB-DIMM DDR2-667 (Thinking of going to 12GB? max16GB)
    4x500GB SATAII 7.2k HDDs Running Hardware RAID 1+0 - Adaptec SCSI RAID Card

    Total cost $3k out the door.

    I'm hoping I can stuff roughly 500 accounts per server. But with everyone using addon domains it can feel like 800 sites per server.

    You think this config is good enough? Only thing I was contemplating is going with SCSI HDs but to get the 1TB space I want It will get VERY expensive. So It was cheaper to do raid 10 I think with WD Raid Edition SATA HDs with 16mb buffer.

    Also you think 8GB ram is enough. For $175 more I can up to to 12G

    Also, share your configs and info so we can compare. Thanks all.
     
    #1 mm1250, Feb 23, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2008
  2. jayh38

    jayh38 Well-Known Member

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    Those specs seem very nice. You should have no trouble with 4gb ram to be honest. Load it up with 64 bit and off ya go. The 5130 was probably crawling but the new box will perform 100 times better.
     
  3. Echelon17

    Echelon17 Well-Known Member

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    First off.... you can't calculate the processor usage as you have been. Whilst it may be 8 cores and seem logical that it adds up to 20GHz, it does NOT total 20GHz in the "real world" at all - as they will never all be used for a single process in the way you're expecting.

    In reality it works much differently, in that a single process will occupy a single core. For example, you can test this yourself by creating a never-ending loop within PHP and running it on your server. Take something like the following:

    PHP:
    <?php
    $i 
    1;
    while (
    $i 2) {
    // Do nothing
    }
    ?>
    Run this script on your server, and watch the processor usage. 1 core will be maxed out at 100% usage, but the other 7 will be free and available to process other requests. This is VERY handy as it means that if a rogue user has some very bad code, or inadvertantly creates a similar never-ending loop, your server will be more than adequate to cope with it.

    In regards to your original query, how many domains you can fit on a server, it's a tricky question to answer. If we ignore the possibility of resource usage (let's assume all your sites are developed properly and are optimised), then theoretically the maximum number of sites is only limited by the maximum number of open files allowed by the system Kernel.

    The reason for this is that Cpanel/WHM (last I checked) incorrectly creates an access_log for each domain (and subdomain) on the system when Apache starts. I say this is "incorrect", because they *should* in fact create a single global file and use the split-logfile script that Apache themselves provide, to generate seperated files. It's much "friendlier" that way and will allow you to bypass this file limit.

    Anyway, back to the question. Depending upon your Kernel parameters, I believe the default value is 1024 allowed open files, so that's approximately 1000 domains (and subdomains/addons) allowed. You can, of course, increase this limit if you wish but I wouldn't advise it.
     
  4. trhosting.net

    trhosting.net Well-Known Member

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    This is very changefull.

    We can only hosting 1 site on a 2 Xeon and 8gb machine. But on the other hand we are hosting 200+ domains on a P4 machine.

    There is no standart for this.
    Plan yourself that you can only host 200 domains on this machine. Then after creating 100-150 accounts you can see that if the server can handle 100 accounts more or do you have to buy a new server for this. May be you can make some optimizations etc.
     
  5. mm1250

    mm1250 Well-Known Member

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    I think you guys are reading into this a little to much.

    As stated, this is a shared-hosting server and of course there can be 1 site who takes up the WHOLE server but if I see such usage as ANY other hosting business the site would get kicked off the server.

    The way I run my servers is I put the sites up and if the server starts bogging down I start from the top list of resource hoggers and start removing them 1 by 1 until the server is stablized. This should be how many hosts run the server management.

    I'd be intersted to know how much accounts companies like Hostgator, Bluehost, Midphase and other large host can get per box, and the config they have per box.

    But the config I am getting, I would be pissed if I can't get 500 accounts on that box. That being said, any high resource site that interferes will get kicked off. Most of you know this already.
     
    #5 mm1250, Feb 26, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2008
  6. Echelon17

    Echelon17 Well-Known Member

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    We aren't reading too much into anything. Your question was so vague, and has no predefined standard response, we have to "fill in the gaps" for you. It really depends on a ton of factors that you can't predict or give us the information for. Off the top of my head, some of these include:

    1. How well is the site coded? If the code is poor, it's going to potentially use more resources.
    2. How well is the database designed/optimised? Good indexing, for example, can prevent the need to upgrade a server and is often the cause for poor performance when it comes to MySQL queries.
    3. How well is Apache tuned? There are numerous ways you can optimise Apache to achieve better performance. You can even use mod_proxy for example, and route specific content through another HTTP Daemon such as Light HTTPD. Some people do this for static content.
    4. How well is MySQL tuned? Again, there are numerous ways you can optimise MySQL. The default MySQL config is poor, at best, so you can squeeze more performance out of it.
    5. Are you using any sort of PHP accelerator? These can save CPU load at the risk of memory usage.

    Just buying a high spec server does NOT automatically mean you can cram thousands of sites onto one box. Your attitude of removing resource-hungry sites is poor, to be honest, because in some cases it may not be that websites fault if the server is misconfigured.

    Regardless, if you are hosting nothing but quiet sites that barely use any resources, you will STILL be limited by the number of open files allowed by your Kernel. This, as I've already stated, is 1024 by default. You CAN increase this (though I wouldn't suggest it), but you will need to recompile a whole bunch of stuff to accomodate it.

    If this confuses you, then I advise you to hire someone who knows what they're doing :)
     
    #6 Echelon17, Feb 26, 2008
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2008
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